Friday, October 07, 2005

Opportunistic, yet frustrated

I have a fantastic opportunity, and I don't remember if I've mentioned it. One of my relatives is traveling out of the country for a couple of weeks, so I'm going to house-sit for her and take advantage of the solitude to complete a major portion of the writing done on my dissertation proposal. At least, that's my hope. My generous in-laws are coming to SCT to help Wife with Son while I'm gone. And my mother & sister/family all live near the place where I'm house-sitting, so I plan to have some home-cooked evening meals after what I hope to be productive days of writing. I feel very fortunate to have support from my extended family. I leave this Sunday 10/9 and will return the following Sunday.

I had planned to be much further along in the writing process at this point than I am. However, I'm still working on finishing up an incomplete and this silly revalidation paper, and it's giving me the blues. One of the reasons for not being finished is beyond my control: these allergies are kicking my ass. I've felt under the weather for the past month. Also, I've never experienced an allergy to doing something I LOVE to do for relaxation & focus: being outside. I think it's getting me down more than I realized.

The other reason for not being as far along as I had hoped is probably a bit more in my control: it's the notion of developing a structure for myself and then sticking to it. Sure, I have a set schedule developed: that was no problem for me. Sticking to the that's another story. I've found it hard to focus, and I'm not sure what the hell is going on. Suffice it to say that at this point, I'm just so angry at myself that I haven't gone as far as I'd like that I'm probably going to be motivated by my frustration rather than by any structure I try to implement on myself. This isn't necessarily the type of drive I was looking for to plow through this stuff, but nevertheless it's probably going to be the motivator I need.

I tend to work well under pressure, so perhaps I'm scheduling TOO MUCH time for myself to get this work done? That sounds ridiculous. But I'm actually a very fast writer and am often more motivated by a deadline than by much else. So maybe this next week will be a good way to condense a great deal of work into a relatively short amount of time. However, I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. It's sort of a balance there, I suppose.

I will have internet access from the house-sitting location, so I'm sure I'll continue posting in the week to come.

Well, I'm off to attempt to get something completed before heading off to work.


lemming said...

(sighs) Welcome to the dissertation purgatory. Wishtaht I had an answer for it, but I don't. I can tell you that I've known folks with laser sharp focus and far fewer distractions than you who found it hard to meet their self-imposed deadlines. I think it just goes with the territory.

Find your dragon - set yourself an impossible goal for this week and see what happens. You just can't have my Hungarian Horntail.

Rob said...

Good advice, Lem. I'll see what happens.

A Basilisk, perhaps? Not a dragon, but it may do the trick.